sport

Flower in charge of Lions

Andy Flower will coach the second-string England Lions during their triangular one-day series against New Zealand A and Sri Lanka A.

Flower, who stood down as England coach after last winter's 5-0 Ashes defeat and is now the England and Wales Cricket Board's technical director of elite coaching, is in charge of a 13-man squad captained by Nottinghamshire's James Taylor.

Nottinghamshire's Harry Gurney said Flower's involvement was a huge positive for a squad of players hoping to progress to the full international set-up.

"I think it's great for everyone involved in the Lions squad to work with a guy who's been at the pinnacle of the game with England in all forms of cricket," Gurney told Sky Sports News.

"He's going to take a great deal of expertise into that position so there will be a lot for the relatively young guys in the squad to learn."

Taylor is among seven full internationals in the party, while Middlesex left-arm spinner Ravi Patel is handed his first chance for the Lions.

"With the ODI series against India rapidly approaching and next winter's tour to Sri Lanka and World Cup also firmly in our sights, this is the perfect opportunity for these players to impress the selectors in the 50-over format of the game," said England's national selector James Whitaker.

"We are delighted to welcome Ravi Patel from Middlesex into a Lions squad for the first time and look forward to what promises to be a closely contested series against two highly competitive touring sides."

The three sides play each other twice during the period August 5-12.

Lions squad: J Taylor (Notts, capt), J Bairstow (Yorks, wkt), R Bopara (Essex), S Finn (Middx), S Parry (Lancs), H Gurney (Notts), A Hales (Notts), C Overton (Somerset), J Roy (Surrey), R Patel (Middx), T Smith (Lancs), J Vince (Hants), D Willey (Northants)